Air source heat pump versus hybrid heating – what’s the difference?

If you’re looking for a more sustainable and economic way to heat your home, you can’t go wrong with an air source heat pump.

Air source heat pumps work by using a small amount of electricity to extract heat found in the outside air and compressing it to create heat and hot water for your home – even in temperatures as low as –25°C. This alternative heating solution is not only better for the environment than a fossil fuel boiler, as it is up to 4 times more efficient, but can also make you money through savings on your heating bills and government funded schemes. In fact, the government pays subsidies for every unit of clean heat produced by qualifying heat pumps under its Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

How does it work?

There are 2 ways in which air source heat pump technology can be used. An air source heat pump can work as a complete, standalone replacement for your current heating system, or you can install one alongside your existing boiler in what’s known as a hybrid heating setup. This hybrid solution uses smart controls to switch between the heat pump and the boiler, which work together to power your heating and hot water as efficiently as possible.

Here’s a closer look at the key differences between the two systems:

Standalone air source heat pump

In a well-insulated house, an air source heat pump can operate alone without compromising on comfort, so could be a good option if you are looking for an entirely new heating and hot water system or if your existing boiler is on its last legs. The heat pump can extract heat from the air when outside temperatures are below zero and still maintain the required temperature in the home and generate all the hot water you need.

If you do opt for a standalone air source heat pump it’s worth noting that you will need to have a hot water storage tank as heat pumps need to maintain water at a constant heat to work effectively. If you don’t have space for one, the hybrid heating setup might be a better fit for you.

Hybrid heating

Unlike a standalone system, the hybrid heating setup uses a combination of energy created by an air source heat pump and your existing boiler to heat your home and provide your hot water.

Most of the time your heating will come from the heat pump. Your boiler will only be activated when outside temperatures are extremely low, meaning it is more energy efficient to generate heat from your boiler, or when you want hot water. As your boiler is still used to heat water there’s no need for you to have a hot water cylinder. In return, you’ll have a heating system that uses less energy, is better for the environment, and can cost less to run than a traditional boiler.*

Whether you opt for a standalone air source heat pump or the hybrid heating solution is up to you, and we can help you identify which is a better fit for your home. Both systems can qualify for the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and can lower your household’s carbon footprint by significantly reducing fossil fuel consumption.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about how air source heat pump technology can benefit your home you can click here to view our dedicated product page, or give our expert team a call on 0333 016 4500.

*depending on your current setup